/Tobacco: the prohibition on sale to minors very little respected
Tobacco: The Prohibition On Sale To Minors Very Little Respected

Tobacco: the prohibition on sale to minors very little respected

Two out of three tobacconists sell tobacco to minors. The National Committee Against Smoking calls for controls and sanctions in the event of non-compliance with the law.

Tobacco: the prohibition on sale to minors is very little respected (Photo Credits: Creative Commons / Danielclauzier)

Tobacco still too accessible to teenagers. According to a survey * by the National Committee Against Smoking (CNCT) published on October 3, 2019, two in three tobacconists (65.2%) sell it to minors under 17 and nearly one in ten (10%) to children 12 years old. The 2009 law prohibiting the sale of tobacco to all minors is therefore not respected in France.

Less than one in five tobacconists request ID

The CNCT survey also shows that more than 40% of tobacconists do not have the compliant and visible sign of the ban on sale to minors and “less than one in five tobacconists apply the law which requires them to request proof of age by means of an identity document“, Remarks Professor Martinet.

Another result to note: the law is less well respected in medium and large cities. In Ile-de-France, for example, 92% of tobacco dealers sell to minors under 17.

Smoking is a “pediatric epidemic”

Problem posed by this sale to minors: the consequences on their addiction in adulthood. “Tobacco is a very harsh drug in that out of three boys or girls who smoke a cigarette to see, two will become daily smokers during some period of their life.”Reminds AFP Professor Yves Martinet, president of the CNCT. “So from the first cigarette, you can be hooked. This is why it is important to prevent sales to minors“, He explains.

Likewise, according to the CNCT, smoking is “a pediatric epidemic“. Most smokers start to smoke their first cigarette around the age of 13-14 and each year in France, more than 200,000 young people fall into the drug trap.

23% of 17-year-olds smoke every day

Almost a quarter of 17-year-olds (23%) are daily smokers and nearly six in ten young French people have already tried smoking. This level is the lowest measured through the Escapad survey since 2000 but it remains particularly high, notes the committee.
And each year, in France, tobacco prematurely kills 75,000 people, “which represents more than one in eight deaths”Recalls the CNCT.

Intensify controls

But then how to enforce the law and impose the ban on the sale of tobacco products to minors for it to be effective? By organizing checks on tobacco shops, including the possibility of administrative closure of varying duration in the event of a repeat offense, the CNCT proposes.

Experts also recommend taking an example from countries on the way to tobacco-free generations, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, which have adopted an arsenal of anti-smoking measures and “rigorously apply the measure prohibiting sales to minors“.

* The survey was carried out from April 16 to May 11, 2019 by BVA with “mystery shoppers” from a representative sample of 527 tobacco shops. Each “mystery” visit was carried out by a 12 or 17-year-old minor (as many girls as boys) and an adult. It was funded by the Tobacco Control Fund.